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It’s Showtime, Lakers

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I HATE wake-up calls. Hate ’em. Except when it’s for taking photos. Then life is good.

On the morning of the Lakers championship parade, I dragged my sorry ass out of bed at 5:30 a.m. Got a ride to Staples and watched as the masses slowly formed around Chick Hearn Ct.

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This boy’s parents had proudly pimped his ride with Lakers colors and a DVD player. Sweet wheels, kid.

I was happy with my choice to be at Staples, where the parade started. A couple miles away at the LA Coliseum, more than 90,000 folks were fighting for seating at the glorified press conference. Don’t people own TVs?

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The parade was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. I had arrived at 7. (Yeah...) But there was great entertainment to fill the time. Easily the best laugh came from the guy with the best gimmick: The Horn Guy (above in the white hard hat). Yeah, he could make the sound of a bike horn. Fucking funny. (Check it out). Every time he did it, I couldn’t help but bust out laughing.

Of course, he made me think of The Honk GalAmelia Phillips, below in a green wig during Geekfest PDX. Super cute photographer with an infectious laugh. (Do yourself a favor and listen up.) What’s great about Amelia is that she makes herself laugh. As you can tell by her audio file, she’s got a wonderful sense of humor.

The Horn Guy is good, but he’s no Amelia.

Amelia

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LAPD once again did a great job with the Lakers fans, handing out cookies and water and simply being engaging and funny. A very impressive performance.

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The show, of course, couldn’t start soon enough. Folks distracted themselves with smacking around a beach ball. The cops even returned fire if a stray ball flew the coop.

I wasn’t credentialed for the parade and I did not get a neon wrist band that said I was legit.

One advantage of showing up early was that I got to befriend the police before the barricades were even built. At around 9 a.m., they decided to fence folks out – which was totally unnecessary. Anyway, I just wandered around with the press corps and acted like I belonged – which I did. Just like in NYC with the Giants parade, I was able to move around as much as anyone simply by playing it cool.

Finally, they loaded up the buses and the show got on the road.

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And if you blinked, you might have missed them. They simply gunned the vehicles, blowing past fans (and photographers) that had waited literally hours for this moment.

I was honestly stunned at how fast they went past. Photographers had to sprint to keep up. I felt really bad for the fans. Not that they were complaining. They got to see Kobe – and that’s all they wanted. Me? I would have asked for a refund.

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As is almost always the case, I think my best images came before and after the event. The parade was just a reason for everyone to gather and have their photo taken.

Next time, I’m bringing a pimped-out lawn chair in Blazers colors for a nappy nap before Showtime.

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  • Armondo Espinoza - June 30, 2009 - 8:14 am

    Great Photos and blog, was a pleasure meeting you. I’m sure we’ll see you next year when we do it all again. GO LAKERS!!!

    Reply

  • Scott Strazzante - June 30, 2009 - 7:29 pm

    Dude, the new format looks awesome and sweet work too.
    Hope all is good in your world!
    Much love!

    Reply

  • Sol - July 1, 2009 - 3:44 pm

    Glad you like. Seeing your blog meant I had to ramp things up on my end.

    In Chicago for the end of July. Will let you know of dates. Let’s grab a drink.

    Reply

  • Sol - July 1, 2009 - 3:44 pm

    Great to meet you, man. GO BLAZERS!!! ;-)

    Reply

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